Barcelona B continued their run of recent good result against SD Ponferradina. The 2-1 victory at the Mini Estadi, in front of 2.074 fans, catapulted Eusebio Sacristan's team up in the Segunda División standings. Ponferradina took the early lead through Yuri, but Barça B fought back and with goals from Luis Alberto and Cristian Lobato earned the victory.
Knowing Eusebio the lineup he fielded really wasn't a surprise, but it still baffles me why Javier Espinosa and Jean Marie Dongou don't start most games played by the team. Both bring so much to the team, skill sets that are otherwise lacking, and if they continue to be mishandled their promising careers could take a big hit.
Starting XI: Oier Olazabal; Ivan Balliu, David Lomban, Carles Planas, Alejando Grimaldo; Ilie Sanchez, Sergi Roberto, Cristian Lobato; Rafinha, Luis Alberto, Kiko Femenia
Bench: Jordi Masip, Gustavo Ledes, Agostinho Ca, Javier Espinosa, Joan Angel Román, Sergio Araujo, Jean Marie Dongou
Before we dive deeper into this game I still owe the result of the previous Barça B game - against CD Guadalajara. The game wasn't televised so there was no review published on Barca Blaugranes, or anywhere else for that matter, but Barcelona won the game 1-0. Even though the youngsters were playing with 10 men for over 30 minutes, Sergi Gómez was sent off (again), they managed to take the three points. In the 79th minute, after a terrific run by Lobato, Luis Alberto scored the game winner and his first ever Barcelona B goal.
Now back to the Barcelona B vs Ponferradina match. The game didn't start very brightly for Barcelona B as even though they had two early half-chances they were once again vulnerable on the counter. The first warning came in the eight minute when Oier bailed out his defense with a terrific save.
However, four minutes later Oier couldn't do anything to prevent Ponferradina from taking the lead. The cross came in from the left side and Planas was too late to the ball which left Yuri with a simple finish to put the visitors in front.
Ponferradina continued to threaten after they scored. Their best chance to add to the lead came in the 20th minute but some brilliant defending by Grimaldo on a 1-on-1 assured Barça B would remain within a goal. Lomban also made a couple good defensive plays, including one when he picked up a yellow card to stop a dangerous counter attack.
Toward the end of the half Barcelona B started to play better and in the 36th minute Rafinha was fouled on the edge of the area. Luis Alberto stepped up and fired a superb free kick to tie the game at one. He caught the keeper leaning the wrong way and even though Barça played poorly until that point it was still anybody's game.
Soon after Barcelona had a chance to take the lead but Grimaldo's wonderful shot on goal was saved by the fingertips of the goalkeeper Orlando Quintana.
The improved Barcelona play continued after halftime and just eight minutes after the restart Barça B took the lead. Luis Alberto played a perfectly weighted through pass to Lobato who made no mistake and fired Barcelona B in the lead.
The rest of the game didn't produce any noteworthy chances as Barcelona B calmly brought the game to an end. Eusebio made all three substitutions, all three coming in the final fifteen minutes. Araujo, Gustavo and Dongou replaced Kiko, Ilie and Lobato. Dongou came on the pitch in the 89th minute so he once again didn't have time to make any impact. Lobato, meanwhile, had played every single minute of the season until he was substituted out for the young Cameroonian.
It was not one of the prettiest wins but Barcelona B will gladly take the three points and will be looking to extend their three game winning streak next week at the currently struggling Hércules CF.
Goles: Barça B 2-1 Ponferradina (via Barça Vid)